Masters Day One : Under way at Solihull Arden

Day ONE :

The largest category – Men’s O60 – got under way on Wednesday morning at Solihull Arden, with early rounds of most of the other Men’s events in the Afternoon and Evening.

Chairman’s Report, Day ONE :

The British Open Masters supported by the PSA and Dunlop started at Solihull Ardern Squash Club in the West Midlands. From an initial registration of some 300 players nearly all the mens groups were in action today and already there has been some fantastic squash.

Men’s Over 70: In an early upset Sam Balsdon proved too mobile for John Duckworth and won through in straight games. His reward is a tie with top seed Stuart Hardy who is just into the age group. Richard Lowe of the home club won through against Albert Akin of Kent in four close games. Former England Captain Paul Reader also beat South African opposition in Chris Hughes and now faces 3/4 seed John Hithersay. Keith Ragg beat Irish International Robert Garvin in four and will meet former champion Nick Drysdale in the next round.

Men’s Over 65: Ripley Oyler upset the seedings with a five game win over David Stones and now meets Bruce Gordon of the USA. Mohammed Zaman eased through against Collis Sheik and recent England National David Kirk now meets Robert Warner who disposed of the dangerous John Petruschke. Alistair Lloyd looked comfortable against South African Alf Close easing through in straight games and is rewarded with a match against No 2 seed Tom Burton.

Men’s Over 60: The top seed here is Freddie Johnson of Sweden, a World and European Champion, and he made short work of Keith Winfield to progress. Lluis Suarez of Spain eased through in four against Ian Russell while David Gray did the same against Andy Hall of Yorkshire. Mike Leonard was in control against Domingo Mihovilovic of the USA and all the other seeds progressed through the draw.

Men’s Over 55: Some good early round battles here with Karl Hardy beating Tony Hannington 12-10 in the fifth. Defending champion Stephen McLoughlin was too good for Ville Leppanen of Finland and eased through in straight games. Wales No 1 Steve Evans took four games to dispose of David Harris and Sam Hanbury struggled to overcome a former champion in Andrew Cross eventually getting through in five. Marvin Rust upset the seedings with a solid win against James Piddington and Simon Spencer and Adrian Leeson also progressed. There was a thriller that saw Rob Vivian come through against a very good German opponent in Andreas Omlor 12-10 in the fifth. His reward is the Wales No 1 Steve Evans.

Men’s Over 50: The Men’s 50s is particularly competitive with a fantastically strong top eight. John Simpson claimed a spot against fellow Yorkshireman Matt Stephenson by beating Craig Webb in three good games while Chris Lynam overcame Andre Hubscher also in three. England International Adam Dominey survived a 12-10 fourth game to win in five over Jason Burgon. Julian Beckett had a tight match with Courtney Downing but emerged the stronger in the fourth. He now faces second seed and former champion Paul Boyle. The match of the round was probably Javier Gonzalvez Fernandez of Spain recovering from two games down to squeeze home 11-9 in the fifth against Thomas Grubel of Germany.

Men’s Over 45: Matt Holland will meet a talented Pakistan player, Alif Siddiqi who proved too good for Jez Gowers-Cromie winning 12/10 in the fourth. The other seeded player took their allotted places so some competitive matches in prospect.

Men’s Over 40: The Wimbledon pro Phil Rushworth is a twice British Open finalist and top seed here. He starts his campaign against Nathan Miller who had a thriller against Peter Barton winning 14/12 in the fifth. Again the seeded players emerged the stronger with Richard Colman winning in four over Robert Dale and Mark Campen-Howarth setting up a match with a very good German in Julian Wollny.

Men’s Over 35: James Snell was the Player of the season last year winning the Open, Nationals, two Regionals and leading England to victory. The man to beat. The uniquely talented Gbenga Adeyi won through for the right to try, being too good for Gary Snowden. Dale Diment earned a crack at a former Champion, Tim Vail the No.2 seed and National finalist Chris Hall gets his campaign underway against Mark McEwan who beat Duncan Higgins in three straight.

Stuart Hardy, Chairman

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Day One Results

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